Five Across the Eyes Review
Written by: Tastebloods
"Five Across the Eyes" is the debut feature from Tenn. filmmakers Ryan Thiessen and Greg Swinson. In a lot of ways the movie bears the "debut" label every second of its 91 minute running time. There was not the budget for a slick looking Hollywood production. The video image is grainy, the sound up and down and in the begining of the film the acting is strained, to say the least.
But something happens about 6 minutes into the film that turns these "low budget" dermerits into startling positives. It makes the movie feel "real".
Not real in a "Blair Witch" fake documentary style, but real as if you were observing these events. Real in a "I Spit on Your Grave" sort of way.
In this day an age of news clips being captured by camera phones and rebroadcast around the world, in this media age where an audio tape of Osama Bin Ladin will be played on the 6 o'clock news, or a shaky videoclip of a carbomb exploding, or a security camera showing a young girl's abduction...as a viewing audience our eyes and ears have become tuned to this--the look and sound of realistic terror.
Mr. Thiessen and Mr. Swinson have crafted a world that looks, sounds and feels real. These are not 30 year old Hollyowood Actresses playing the part of 15 year old girls trying to make it home from the Highschool football game. These ARE teenage girls. The way they talk, the way they bicker and turn on eachother. And because they feel so real, the brutality they suffer at the hands of one completely unhinged woman is simply shocking.
Sodomy with a screwdriver.
Fingers bitten off.
Electrocuted with jumper cables.
After a slew of horror films that victimize its characters just for the fun of it (leading to a supposed backlash against "torture-porn" which is really nothing more than unimaginative sadism), "Five Across The Eyes" makes every moment of horror these girls suffer have actual consequences. You feel the distinct possibility that these characters will never be the same. Watching what this insane woman does to them is not fun. It is not a rollercoaster of exhileration that you get off and smile about. It is a car crash. Sudden, brutal and deadly.
This is a film where there are no men. It is in real time. The camera never leaves the van. The only death you see on screen is one you are cheering for.
And yet when you are finished watching it, the film will gnaw at your conscience for days.
It is a remarkable debut feature from a filmmaking team that you will be bragging about years from now.